My Camp Experience
As told by Hans
As a middle-aged male Chinese, I come from an atheistic
and materialistic dominated country. I clearly remember
the words in my school textbook, which deny any existence
of soul and spirit, especially the God of Christianity.
Pastors or ministers were portrayed as the representatives
of evil, out to cheat and defraud people for their
But throughout my life journey, praise God, my intuition
has made me believe that human beings are very
weak when they encounter things such as disease or
personal conflict. Worries, anxieties, hopelessness, and
helplessness are like annoying flies constantly hovering
in my mind. One of the evidences of the omnipresent
God is that I was led to my loving linguistics professor
Wendy Bowcher and to participating in Friday evening
Bible study at her place, which enabled me to enter the
gates of His glory. Questions like “What is God? Who is
Jesus?” were answered in the study. I gained confidence
and hope step by step; anxieties and helplessness disappeared
Without being there in person, one can hardly
imagine what life is like in another place. Friends I met
in the Camp asked me whether churches or Christianity
are allowed in China. The answer is that they are
allowed on the surface but they are different because of
the influence of Chinese culture and Chinese language.
I started wondering what a pastor looks like and how the
church works outside China.
God is reaching to those who seek for Him all the
time. He gave my family and me the chance to join the
Seventh-day Adventist Church Camp (2015) in Jindabyne,
which was an unbelievably amazing life experience
to be closely connected with God and His disciples.
Hans (front left) enjoying fellowship at camp
Jim Tonkin is the first western pastor I have ever met in
my life. He met up with us in Nowra to go to the camp
site together. Even though I had heard about him from
Wendy, his kindness, humility, wisdom, and dedication
to serving people impressed me deeply. At 10:30 pm, the
first night we were in Jindabyne, I found him working
at the dining room instead of in his tent when I came to
say hello to him.
Big Camp 2015 - Hans Story
We were given a beautiful well-equipped chalet to live
in but Jim stayed with his two pastor sons in their vans.
Pastor Jim as well as David Haupt helped frequently at
the dining room to clean up after meals.
Whenever I came into the tent, I saw the big characters
of “HIStORY”. As the host said in the ceremony “His
stories, your stories, my stories come to our stories in history
to glory the Lord”. I was fascinated by the design of
the whole camp activities, which were in line with the
idea that God loves all of us. There were activities for
all age groups: the Primary group, the Junior group, the
Teen’s group, Youth group, and the Adult’s group.
I was deeply touched by one of the main themes of the
camp, which was the Love of God and the Love of Jesus.
The question “What is love?” is profound and important
to me. I’m coming to think that to love is to inspire,
to encourage, to teach, to facilitate, to help, to serve, to
respect, to acknowledge, to forgive, to pardon, to reconcile,
to dedicate, to learn, to seek guidance, to accept unconditionally,
to give freedom of choice, to be compassionate,
to care, and to be humble. I know that God, the
Lord in heaven, through His mighty power, is the only
creator of this world. He loves everyone so much that He
sends his only son Jesus to the earth to pass His love on to
us and He hopes we love each other as well. In any sense,
we as human beings are seeking love and unconditional
acceptance in all our lives.
I strongly believe that God is love and the Bible is God’s
word. If Jesus was sent to carry his father’s mission and
his stories of making the blind to see and the disabled to
walk are real in the Bible, who is Jesus now in this world?
From my experience at the camp, I can see that people
who help each other in daily lives are carrying the Jesus
spirit. The Jesus spirit was found in Wendy Stanton,
David Haupt, and Paul Rankin, who shared their life long
experiences on building up positive relations and life
styles for parents, teens, and adults.
Jesus spirit is glorified by His followers’ daily behavior. At
6:40am, the second morning in Jindabyne, I was shocked
that Lee Emblen, who is 76 years old, studied the Bible
at the table and took notes seriously. I was surprised that
not only the old people but also the young generation are
interested in getting to know God.
I had many discussions with people about the Bible and
about the Ten Commandments. We discussed scenarios
like if we were border soldiers in North-Korea what
should we do in front of a group of hungry people
crossing the border for food to survive; whether we
should kill Hitler if we were his guards; should we steal
the crops from the government storehouse for starving
children in a Chinese village during the famine in the
All these discussions make us think deeply about what
is the Jesus spirit and what should we do in this world
even though there is no one fixed answer for everyone.
As Steven in the Camp stated, the Bible is really absolutely
a casebook to study again and again rather than a
Another lifelong unforgettable shock for me concerns
the attitude of the people I met in the Camp. My daughter
Rae once asked me: “Daddy, why do the people here
always smile and say hello to each other?” This is one of
the big direct differences my daughter and I found. On
the third day we returned to China from Sydney, Rae said
that her friend’s mother said nothing when she stepped
on Rae’s foot, as if nothing had happened.
There are many scenes embedded in my memory although
the days in the Camp have passed. Except those
heart-touching stories told in the lectures, such as how
Steven found the love of God and recovered from his
divorce. I cannot forget – many other stories. I cannot
forget the scene – that the Jindabyne manager and his
father taught me how to make “Truckie’s hitch”. I cannot
forget how they taught me to drive a battery-operated
car. I cannot forget Professor David drew the charts to illustrate
the way we recognize ourselves. I cannot forget
the way Pastor Jim showed me his passion for the nature
by presenting me the beauties of the flowers. I cannot
forget the lovely conversation with our chalet neighbor
Des Ward. I cannot forget Gabbi Elliott’s personal story
and how the people helped her in her local Adventist
Church. I cannot forget the Bibles as gifts together with
$50 cash given by Pauline and her words: “Life for you is
too hard. Hope the Bible can light your road ahead. The
money you can give to anyone in need.”
Another happy surprise is that the Adventist Church
promotes a healthy lifestyle based on modern science
and medical research. The lectures to the parents and
teens are well based on psychology and philosophy. The
workshop topic, “My Life is a gift to be valued” provides
fundamental confidence, courage, and – belief to teenagers
who withstand peer pressure and school bullying
by helping them construct positive self-esteem.
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Big Camp 2015 - Hans Story
“My God loves without restraint...” is told by the stories
inside and outside the family to children. “My World is
a place where people find hope...” is extended to every
corner in the community outside the camp by the service
of the people in the church besides the ministers.
When I was in Australia, I was asked frequently by
friends inside and outside the Camp, “What’s your
impression of Australia?” I eagerly told them that “this
is a nice place with nice people as well as nice kangaroos,
but it would be better that the youngsters know
more about other parts of the world through traveling or
staying briefly, because Jesus walked and helped around
the world to reach those in need. And I am so proud
being with you to glorify His name in the way I can.”
- Hans from China
Snapshots of Camp 2015
Big Camp 2015
Tell the World Fun House
For 2015 the beginner/kindy program took place at
the ‘Tell the World Fun House.’ A group of ‘high
school students from Jindy High’ came down to the
‘Tell the World Fun House’ after school to share with
the younger kids about God’s love. Brad welcomed
everyone at the door while Renee, Debbie and
Teash taught the kids lots of fun songs. Kylie had
organized some great crafts that the parents loved as
much as the kids. Jimmy shared his special talents of
story telling, playing the guitar and even taught the
kids a song in Japanese. We heard stories about kids
in the Bible who did amazing things for God. Just
because we’re kids doesn’t mean God can’t use us.
A real highlight was a special project that Simon &
Geoff had worked on under the guidance of ‘Professor’
Mushenko. It was the Psalty scope. Each day
the scope took us to a different country in the world
where kids need to hear about God’s love. Professor
Mushenko was able to tell us what we could do to
help the kids far away. Most of the time it wasn’t our
words, it was our actions that were most powerful. It
could be our prayers, our money or clothes, or just
loving everyone regardless of their skin colour. We
had a special visit from Paul, a local Koori man. He
came and shared with us what the kids in his community
need. By the end of the week the Psalty scope
brought us back locally and we discovered people at
camp had needs too and we could help. We discovered
that one of the high school kids, Jimmy, and his
family had been doing it tough and his Dad had been
without work. The kids and the rest of the team were
able to put a basket of food and toys together that
they gave to Jimmy on the last Sabbath. Brad even
gave the shirt off his own back!
We had an ‘exchange’ student Elissa from India
come and help us for a few days. She was a little shy
but helped with the words and music and took some
lovely photos for us.
Professor Mushenko and Paul sharing with the kids
At the food fair everyone dressed up in an international
costume and we tried foods from different countries.
Each child was given their own ‘mini scope’ to take home
to look out for kids in their own world who need to know
about God’s love. Along with the mini scope there was a
message: with God’s strength and power we can do anything,
don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young
(1Tim 4:12). God will help us through the tough times and
most of all let’s remember His LOVE is for EVERYONE.
- Renee Sinclair
The Fun House Crew
We had some special times together in the afternoon
with some jumping castle fun, a trip to the trout farm
and a very special international food fair.
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Big Camp 2015
Weird Animals at Big Camp
Every day at Primaries, 50 kids were introduced to a new weird
animal - who taught us a valuable lesson about Jesus’ love. Axl the
Axolotl, Fern the Leafy Sea Dragon, Milton the Star-nosed Mole,
Shred the Tenrec, and Iggy the Frill-necked Lizard helped kids remember
that even if you are left out, are different, don’t understand,
do wrong, or are afraid, JESUS LOVES YOU! Special speaker David
Gillespie had special effects, and worked with the bumbling Dr Paws
(Dragan Kanazir) to bring home lessons of Jesus’ love.
Enjoying the songs during the week
Our theme song emphasized, “Jesus’ love - it’s amazing!” The children
enjoyed singing (WITH ACTIONS!), games, crafts (thanks Lynette!),
swimming and sliding at Thredbo, go-kart rides, nerf wars, jumping
castle... Ben Galindo and his team did a fantastic job. Some kids didn’t
want to go home!
- Colin Richardson
God’s blessings and presence were certainly experienced in the
Juniors Tent during the 2015 SNSW Big Camp. Throughout our
worship times, Pr. Craig Vanas, our guest speaker shared the stories
of committed Christians who dedicated wholeheartedly their time,
talents and treasures to God for the advancement of His kingdom here
on earth, and consequently changed the course of history; Committed
Christians like Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King and Isaac
Juniors were being challenged all week to commit their time, talents
and treasures to God and He will use them as history makers in areas
and places God calls them to. As a result, most of the juniors responded
favourably to the challenges of accepting Jesus as their Saviour and
to join a Bible Study group in preparation for baptism.
God’s blessings and presence were also felt during activity times with
heaps of fun. Activities such as fellowship at the Juniors Café with
yummy snacks and drinks, Banquet Night, craft, skiing, go-karting,
water fight, bobsled, chairlift rides, water activities at Thredbo and
much more. Finally, God’s blessings were experienced through the
commitment and sacrifice made by the staff, volunteers and guest
speaker who worked at the Juniors Tent this year. These fun-loving
people invested heavily in the future of our children, and may God
bless each one abundantly.
- Tony Moala
Tug of war battle
History Makers Banquet
Big Camp 2015
An EPIC Time Together
Sixty teens enjoyed an EPIC time together
at Big Camp this year. Our theme, “EPIC”,
focused on the grand story that is going on in
the universe (the Great Controversy) and how
our lives intersect with this story.
In light of the grand battle that they are a part
of our teens were encouraged each evening by
Alina Coccetti (Chaplain, Brisbane Adventist
College) to “put on the whole armour of God”
Waterskiing on Lake Jindabyne
Pr. Kylie Cullinan challenged the teens with
interactive Biblestudies each morning and Pr
David Haupt opened up some important lifetopics
for teens. Lots of energy was expended
in activities including water skiing, trampolining,
go-carts, laser tag and an EPIC water clash.
The final Sabbath of Camp was a highlight for
all, beginning with a special commitment and
worship time on Friday evening when many
recommitted their lives to Christ and seven
affirmed their desire to be baptised. The singing
of praise songs rang from the tent late into
the evening as our teens expressed their love
and thankfulness to God.
During the Sabbath service many responded
to the invitation to have their feet washed by
one of the teen tent leaders or a friend. The
teens then shared in communion together. For
many this was their first time to participate in
this special service. The Sabbath celebration
continued in the afternoon as the teens joined
together with others at the lake to support Georgia Hawken as she
publically affirmed her desire to go all the way with Jesus through
baptism.Our Conference is truly blessed to have such an amazing
group of young people. Please continue to keep our teens in your
prayers throughout 2015. They appreciate and desire this.
- Owen Ellis
EPIC Banquet Held at the Sport and Rec Centre
Throughout all of time humanity has told stories. It is the way that we
share information and teach our kids about right and wrong and what
is important. There is one story however, that transcends all stories.
From the beginning of time to the very end, this story is told to bring
hope and redemption to a world in need. It is this story, the story of
this world’s salvation that was the theme for the Youth division in 2015,
it is the story of “The Legend”.
Our new conference Youth Director Hayden Petersen led out in
sharing the message with our youth. This culminated on the Friday
Hayden Petersen Preaching
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Big Camp 2015
night with most if not all of the youth stepping forward to
committing or recommitting their lives to Jesus. The nightly
program involved worship led by Oliver Doyle and team, as
well as an Indiana Jones style drama involving Cieran Thomson-Jones,
Bethany Herford, Jared Knopper and the infamous
Dr. Evil: Daniel Faber! Activities were again a huge hit with
youth participating in Rock climbing, laser force and the
ever popular water sports (big thanks to our boat drivers!).
Thursday night was a real highlight with the “Mad Hatters”
banquet involving a teaming up of both teens and youth.
Emma Thoreson and team did an amazing job of bringing
together this banquet. Big camp is a great place to catch up
with old friends and make new ones, the best part about these
friendships, is that when friends are friends of Jesus, they are
- Hayden Petersen
Leeton Mason soaring on a Flyboard
SNSW Media in BIG Tent
USA arrived just in time for Big Tent productions,
and was used extensively for main speaker filming.
A team quickly formed to operate the cameras and
switcher included two former TV News technicians
from Russia, now at Albury church, and the program
manager from HOPE channel.
Main Speaker David McKibben
Speakers and events at The Big Tent were projected live onto
the big screens and recorded using new SNSW media equipment.
Everyone could easily see what was happening on stage from
wherever they were sitting, and the professional recording
was a test of concept for Big Camp 2016 when we hope to
setup staging and film professionally for HOPE.
The purpose of the equipment is to live - produce
evangelism for our secular community, to live-produce
shows that are also useful for HOPE channel
and Australian satellite.
Audio and video of recorded programs from Big
Camp are available on the conference website.
We thank God for answered prayers to start public
media evangelistic efforts in our SNSW conference.
Evangelism funding in 2015 enabled the purchase of a vision
switcher and one TV Broadcast camera. Pr. Toogood contributed
existing and new equipment from ToogoodToday.com
productions. Attendees said they enjoyed the regular evening
interviews, and a simulcast broadcast of Mission Spotlight
lifted attendance at this second Sabbath event. PowerPoint,
audio and video from two computers and input from four
video cameras were mixed seamlessly and all worked as expected.
A second-hand broadcast super-zoom lens from the
- James Toogood
Big Camp 2015
Milk & Honey
If you were able to attend SNSW Big Camp this year, you
would have most likely visited the ADRA Café “Milk &
Honey” and sampled some of their delectable goodies on
offer. If you did, Thank you! Together we raised $2,128.36
for ADRA’s work in SNSW.
Throughout camp Milk and Honey was located in the
Big Tent and also set up a stall at the fantastic Village
Fair, held on the first Sunday of camp. Ice-cream was a
big hit at the fair and 70L of consumption was spurred on
by the hot day and great activities.
Items such as the Elderflower mocktail received great
compliments like “why have I never had this before – so
awesome”. Vanilla Chai milkshakes had the thermomix
whirring away as orders were piling up for this taste sensation.
The cooler nights saw hot drinks ordered with
the more adventurous trying out the diverse selection of
herbal teas – such as Pumping Pomegranate and Southern
Sunrise. Homemade treats filled the cabinet and
many accolades were given to those who kindly donated
such tasty goods.
Surrounding the café area was a pop-up ADRA Op Shop,
with the goods kindly collected from the ADRA Op Shop
in Braddon. The cooler nights saw all the warmer gear
sell out quickly with sales from this going directly back
into the ADRA Op Shop. A community garden also attracted
much attention as this is – one part of ADRAs
national program (Bowral Church has been the first to
implement this in SNSW and there is now interest in
other parts of the conference).
Webster (ADRA Australia’s CEO) who gave an inspiring
update on ADRA’s impact at home and overseas, and
responded to a question and answer session from the
audience. Throughout camp ADRA’s aim was to assist
programs and add value to them where possible. Peter
Mushenko (ADRAs Relationship Manager) was able to
attend all divisions and to contribute with a wide variety
of videos, interviews, activities and presentations.
The Youth decided their café will raise funds for an
ADRA project and chose a well for Timor Leste. By Gods
blessing they far exceeded their expectations and were
able to donate 4 wells and 2 ¼ Chickens (no chips) with
a total profit of $1047.25. The youth have decided to continue
this on in the following years with other ADRA
projects. Very inspiring. The Juniors also had a café
and were able to donate funds of $72.70 which will go
into developing and supporting ADRA’s projects in our
SNSW conference. The Beginner / Kindies department
collected non-perishable food items for ADRA. This has
been given to the Opshop in Braddon, which also runs a
food parcel project for those in need.
ADRA auctioned off plants from the community garden
towards the end of camp. Pr. Mike Faber was a great auctioneer
and increased the bidding excitement with his
antics. The ADRA game ‘Taps and Pumps’ designed by
Baily Cox for a year 6 school project auctioned really well
and will be a big hit at the homes of the buyers. A write
up of ADRA at Big Camp would not be complete without
thanking the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make
this happen. A special shout out to Sherryn Kieltyka,
Merilyn Bostock, Danielle Cox, Esther King, Sharron
Ford and Janet Kieltyka for their hard work in the café
and Ian Bostock for background help. To all the others
who helped with time or donations, thank you. And
thanks to all who supported the ADRA Milk & Honey
Café with their purchases.
SNSW Big Camp 2015 was a great start to the year for
ADRA! One of many responses received from camp was
“I am an existing supporter of ADRA & after this camp
I’m sure that I am doing the right thing”. If you want to
know more about how you can support and serve with
ADRA please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Douglas Kieltyka
ADRA hosted an afternoon tea at the Milk & Honey
café and was honoured with an appearance from Mark
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Big Camp 2015
Linen, Lace and Love
High Tea at Jindabyne
“This is great! A couple of hours without the children!”
“We will have this again next year, won’t we?!”
“I feel so special. This is a real treat! Thank you.”
Such were the comments made by various ladies who
shared in the High Tea on the Tuesday of camp this year.
In keeping with the theme of telling the story - His Story
- we had opportunity to share in the relaxed atmosphere
of the dining room at the Adventist Alpine Village.
The 80 ladies, of all ages, who came along enjoyed the
treat of a pleasant spot with delicious treats. Just to
enjoy the attractive decor made each one who came feel
‘spoilt’. And they enjoyed that!
A delightful afternoon had by all
There was also opportunity to learn more about
resources that are available through Adventist Women.
Ladies left their time together keen to sponsor a subscription
of GIGI magazine for teen girls they know. Others
have gone home pondering how they can start some sort
of gathering for ‘girls’ in their local area.
After a Mum shared with her daughter – some of the
contents of one of The Real Series for girls a Dad came
looking for what he could do to share them with young
ladies at his church. This time we shared is sure to
springboard more activity during 2015 throughout South
Delicious treats that were baked
We can all help to fulfill the Conference Vision
Statement: To be and to – grow flourishing followers of
Jesus. Our thanks to the staff of the Adventist Alpine
Village who provided great food along with sponsorship
of this part of camp. Who knows, it might just happen at
future Big Camps!
- Wendy Hergenhan
Making new friends
Leap of Faith
I never thought that being a grandparent
could be so much fun. Prior to
becoming a grandparent I had heard
all these stories, some suggesting
the best thing about being a grandparent
was being able to hand them
back at the end of a visit! For me! Not
true. I love having my grandchildren
around and am fortunate that they
all live in Canberra so I get to see
Recently on one of the visits I took
my grandson out to the front gate
and stood him up on the large pillar
containing our letterbox so that he
could wave goodbye to his mother.
After the fond farewell, the waves,
the kisses blown in the air I turned
to him and said “jump”. To which he
immediately responded, launching
himself out into the air into my waiting
arms. We had never played this
game before and so I was surprised
at his absolute faith in me to catch
As I pondered on the thought, I
questioned in my mind, why is it as
children we have so much trust, yet
as we grow older we loose trust in
others and in God. I know I have
found myself questioning God at
times, yet in reality He has always
caught me when I have leapt out in
During the past few years the
Conference and Schools Board’s
of Directors have taken some huge
leaps of faith.
In the conference we have increased
our ministry team, made some long
term commitments to various projects,
such as the purchase of
the Adventist Alpine Village and its
development. In the schools we have
supported the construction of two
new classrooms in Narromine.
In Canberra the construction of a
new Early Learning Centre, and over
recent years the construction of a
Multipurpose Hall, Technology and
Science buildings at Boarder Christian
College. Each of these took
huge leaps of faith which had a huge
financial impact on our financial
resources however God has blessed
So what about us as individual
church members? What will we do
in 2015? How will you show a leap
of faith? I am reminded of the verse
in Proverbes 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD
with all your heart and lean not on
your own understanding; in all your
ways submit to him, and he will make
your paths straight.
- Gavin Howie
Chief Financial Officer
SNSW Tithe Movements 2014
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A tribute to a great Pastor and President
On Thursday night February 19th
Pastor Neil Lawson passed away at
the age of 78 after a short illness.
Pastor Lawson will be remembered
as the longest serving President in
the SNSW Conference. He was
loved and respected by the church
community and know as a caring,
just, and compassionate minister.
We express our deepest sympathy
to his wife Francis and her family.
May God’s peace and love comfort
them in this difficult time.
We are looking forward to meeting
Pastor Neil again on the resurrection
morning. “But I do not
want you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning those who have fallen
asleep, lest you sorrow as others
who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so God will bring
with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of
the Lord, that we who are alive and
remain until the coming of the Lord
will by no means precede those
who are asleep. For the Lord Himself
will descend from heaven with
a shout, with the voice of an archangel,
and with the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord
in the air. And thus we shall always
be with the Lord. Therefore comfort
one another with these words.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NKJV)
Meet our new Youth Director
Hayden Petersen, or “H” as he prefers to be known
(easier to spell!), comes to us from Mildura, Victoria.
Home however, has always been Canberra as far as His
concerned as he was born and grew up in the ACT.
Having attended many Goulburn camps as a young person,
H counts it as a real privilege to be back serving in
the conference, which he loves. The Adventist Alpine
Village in Jindabyne especially holds a special place
in H’s heart, as it was here that he gave his life to Jesus
back in his youth. H is married to the beautiful Melissa
(called Melby), and has three adorable kids; Lachlan 8,
Ella 6, and Sasha 4. As a family they love to camp and go
exploring, one of their favourite things to do together
on a Sabbath afternoon is to go looking for geocaches
(if you don’t know what this is, google it!).
“H” says: “It is really exciting to be doing the job that I
have always dreamed of doing, I know that it is going to
be a really difficult road ahead, however with God’s
strength and guidance I am confident that things will go
- Mike Faber
New General Secretary
Church. The Appointments Committee
was faced with a difficult
task to find a new officer late in the
After a diligent search to fill
this role with the best possible
candidate Mr. Calvin Drinkall
from Victoria accepted the position
as General Secretary for our
conference along with the position
of Sabbath School & Stewardship
Director late November.
have a beautiful adult daughter
Pr. Mike Faber our Conference
President has been asked to also
take on the role of Ministerial
Association Secretary as well as
Director of Personal Ministries and
Mr Gavin Howie has been
reelected as Chief Financial Officer
for our Conference.
Two month after having been
reelected as the General Secretary
for our conference at our session
last September Dr Kendell Cobbin
accepted a call to the South
Queensland Conference as the
Senior Pastor of Springwood
Calvin has over 27 years of service
in working for the denomination
serving as State Supervisor
and National Field Manager for
Sanitarium and as COO for Advent
Care Victoria alongside that of
Facility Manager to only mention a
few. Calvin is married to his lovely
Mr Douglas Kieltyka will continue
in his role as ADRA Director, Mrs
Wendy Hergenhan as Director for
Women’s Ministries and Dr Jean
Carter as Director of Adventist
Changes in Department Roles
Mr David Haupt who has been
serving our conference in the
past as Seminar Presenter for the
departments family life and health
has been appointed Departmental
Director for Health and Well-being,
and as Ministerial Care Person
for the pastoral staff. David holds
a Bachelor of Theology degree,
Grad. Dip in – Social Science
(Counseling) and has just completed
a Masters degree in Counseling
at the University of Canberra. Over
the past 16 years David has worked
with Australia’s most marginalized
people for which he was awarded
Australia’s Centenary Medal.
David is registered as a Clinical
Member of the Counselors and
Psychotherapists Association of
New South Wales Inc. and with
the Psychotherapy and Counseling
Federation of Australia.
• Pastor John Tompson has accepted a call to the Greater Sydney Conference where he is now pastoring the Wollongong
• Pastor Jim Tonkin has moved out of the Nowra/Ulladulla district to fill the vacancy left by pastor Tompson in the
• Pastor Tony Moala is now taking care of the Southern Illawara (formerly Dapto and Oak Flats), Nowra & Milton
- Ulladulla Churches.
• Pastor Andrew McCrostie our former Youth Director is now serving as Assistant Pastor in the Albury/Wodonga
District and as the Chaplain for Border Christian College.
- Mike Faber
Page 12 | 13 - IMPRINT > Conference News
Snowy River Shire Council approves Application for
After many months of waiting and negotiations, the
Snow River Shire Council has approved the modification
to the Development Application to construct a communal
kitchen at the Western end of the dormitories.
Smaller groups, families and singles have always found
it a challenge when staying in the Adventist Alpine
Village (AAV) dormitory accommodation, as there are no
cooking facilities available. In fact it is fair to say that we
have lost some clients due the fact that they were unable
to prepare meals. This has also been a challenge for our
campers during annual camp meeting.
The new communal kitchen will allow for one group of
up to 30 persons to prepare meals or three smaller groups
to prepare meals at the same time. The facility will also
include indoor and outdoor dining options, with views
overlooking the mountains and lake Jindabyne. The
facility will contain easy clean stainless steal work
stations, stoves, cooktops, refrigerators, clean up
The total cost of the project will be in the
a rea of $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 We h ave a l re a d y re ce ive d
generous donations from church members outside
of the South New South Wales Conference.
One of these being $20,000
Construction is expected to commence soon and
be completed prior to the Winter season.
If you would like more details about the project
or would like to make a donation towards the
project please contact the Chief Financial Officer
Proposed plans for Kitchen Facility
Our partner in mission - Tonga
Early 2014 our executive committee voted to accept Tonga Mission
as our official partner in mission.
Last November Pastors Mike Faber and Kendell Cobbin had the
privilege to fly out to Tonga to meet with the mission’s administrative
team and to visit our Adventist schools, churches, and some
of the pastors.
During the church service on Sabbath November 1st 2014 – held
in the town hall of Nuku’alofa – Pastor Sione Moala at the time
President of Tonga Mission and Pastor Mike Faber President
of the SNSW Conference signed the partner in mission pledge
committing to support each other as partners in mission through
prayer, communication, and the sharing of ideas, plans and resources.
Mike Faber signing the mission pledge
The Kingdom of Tonga is a peaceful place with kind and friendly
people. Every effort was made to make our stay as comfortable
as possible. During our visit we felt very much appreciated and
The membership of Tonga Mission is equal to our conference
with about 2700 baptised members and only slowly growing.
Our church schools in Tonga are doing well but are in need of
maintenance as are a number of our church buildings. Tonga is
not a rich island and it takes a while before money is raised and
buildings are renovated or newly constructed.
We shared with our partner in mission that the SNSW
Conference is not wealthy but that we are committed to support
according to the promise in the aforementioned mission pledge.
If your church would like to become a partner of one of the
churches in Tonga please contact our SNSW Conference office
and we will assist you in finding a suitable partner. Perhaps one of
our schools would like to become a partner of one of the church
schools in Tonga.
Churches in need of repairs
What a blessing this would be for all parties involved. Please pray
for our partner in mission and ask the Lord if there is anything
your local church would like to do to bless Tonga Mission.
- Mike Faber
Page 14 | 15 - IMPRINT > Conference News
iThirst Camporee 2015
From all around the South Pacific they came! From
Port Moresby to Launceston, Christchurch to Albury,
Pathfinders by the thousands amassed at Toowoomba
to experience a spectacular adventure (which would
hopefully this time not include torrential rain!).
From our home conference of SNSW, 98 pathfinders
and their faithful leaders braced themselves for 5 days
of fun, worship, mud and colour paint!
Pastor Eddie Hypolite shared the Word of God each night
whilst a drama team reenacted the final stages of Jesus life,
his resurrection and in spectacular style his ascension into
heaven (complete with ropes and smoke as the actor playing
Jesus rose 10m up in the air!).
The pathfinders and leaders who attended will always remember
this fantastic experience and the friends that they
met there! A huge thanks needs to go to the families and
churches of our pathfinders who made it possible for our
kids to be blessed!
Tumut Pathfinders invested by World Pathfinder Director
Five Pathfinders from the Tumut
club who had been unable to be
present at the club investiture at
the end of 2014, had the privilege
of being invested by the World
Pathfinder Director Pr. Jonatan
Tejel at Camporee. Pr. Jonatan
was thrilled to have the opportunity
to meet our young pathfinders
and spent some time
chatting with the club members
and taking ‘selfies’ by the club
banner (the scenery in which he
Recognition given to leaders
When asked I doubt that any of the 9 leaders who were
awarded with long-service pins at the iThirst Camporee
would say that they did it just for the pin! Those who
received this most prestigious award for 10+ years of service
were: Roger Nagle, Damian Lomas, Chris Hawken,
Phil Herford, Mike Frey, Janice Frey, Connie
Bullock and Alan Forbes. Thank you to all leaders
past and present who make the powerful ministry of
Pathfinders a possibility. You may never know until you
reach the Kingdom the difference that you have made.
And that’s far more valuable than a pin!
- Hayden Petersen
Service at Big
On the first Sabbath of Big Camp,
January 17th in the afternoon Pastor
Jimmy Watanabe who is presently
serving as pastor at the Bega/Moruya
district was ordained into full time
Pastor Watanabe’s parents had specially
flown in from Japan to witness
this beautiful occasion. His mother
Laura a semi professional singer
sang two lovely special items and
his father Keith a retired pastor gave
some personal words to his son at
the beginning of the service.
Pastor Jimmy and wife Debbie (centre) with family and friends
Pastor Mike Faber & Dr Kendell
Cobbin presented two short vignettes
while Pastor Brendan Pratt
the Union Ministerial Secretary offered
the charge and Pastor Laurie
Landers the ordination prayer.
Two pastors from the Bega ministers
fraternal had also come to support
their Adventist colleague & witnessed
the ordination service. We wish
Pastor Jimmy Watanabe and his wife
Debbie God’s richest blessings for
their future ministry.
- Mike Faber
Left to right: Mike Faber, Debbie, Jimmy & Keith Watanabe
Page 16 | 17 - IMPRINT > Conference News | Around the Churches
Around the Churches
Southern Illawarra Church
Finding Joy in helping the needy
Last November eighteen excited and eager volunteers from
Southern Illawarra Church met at 8 am at the Ribbonwood
Centre at Dapto, both to pray and to embark on a new venture.
Our church had voted unanimously to undertake the supply of
free food to the needy people of the area. Surveys show that the
people who come for assistance are mostly the working poor,
people who are on casual or part-time work, but who are unable
to get enough shifts to make ends meet. With a grant of $5,000
from ADRA we are able to collect food at much reduced prices
from “Foodbank” in Sydney, which stores food not wanted by the
supermarkets. Two volunteers drive up to Wetherill Park each
week to fill the trailer and vehicle with food. We can select from
refrigerated or frozen or pantry food, with a free selection of fruit
and vegetables available for pick-up only. The selection available
varies from week to week so it is with eager anticipation that we
open up all the boxes and set out the food ready for our first customers
at 9:30am, as we sometimes find a few extras.
The Ribbonwood Centre, where we hold our church services,
has been very keen for us to do this work and has made rooms
available to us each week. Last year both Christmas Day and New
Year’s Day fell on a regular Thursday.
Helping families in the community
We took the decision to open up as usual and
were pleased we did, as quite a number of
customers came on each day. We have built up
a regular clientele of folk ranging from small
to large families, with new registrations each
week, and are making a lot of new friends who
give us lots of smiles and even hugs. One volunteer
does several home deliveries for folk who
find it difficult to come in. We always finish with
a debriefing and a prayer of thanks to our wonderful
Saviour before departing, and looking
forward to the next Thursday.
- Helen Blake
Albury - Wedding
Congratulations to Christopher François Oberson and Naomi
Clark who were married on October 26th 2014 by Pastor Dragan
Kanazir at Albury Church.
François Oberson and Monique (deceased)
Bride’s parents: Esther and Darran Clark
Around the Churches
Peter Dixon, accomplished singer, guitarist
&song writer was accompanied by Tiffany,
drummer and Felix on guitar at a special outreach
program for children and their families
held on Sabbath 8th November 2014 at Wodonga
English Church. The first part of the program
focused on the children with singing, a story and
a craft activity. After this Peter introduced each
of his songs he presented in sharing the spiritual
experiences that had led him to write them.
In his sermon Pastor Mike Faber used the
illustration of a pipe representing Christ’s righteousness,
and a bent wire showing how we are
all sinners, broken, curved and imperfect. However
when we are covered by Christ’s righteousness
we are perfect and straight like the curves
of the wire can no longer be seen when hidden
in the pipe. The morning program was followed
by a delicious lunch with Peter, Tiffany and Felix
resuming their singing as lunch finished.
A total of ninety people attended
the program, 40 of
whom were non-Seventhday
visitors from the Wodonga
Slavic Church were also in
- Sue James
Wodonga English Church.
Dedication of Sabbath School Rooms in Narromine
On December 6th, 2014, the Narromine SDA
Church dedicated to the Lord their new Sabbath
The church members are really grateful to the
people in the community who have dedicated
their time and efforts to help construct this
We are also thankful to our own church family who have
committed time and finances to the construction of this building,
both physically and financially.
It is a blessing to know that this building is a vessel where God’s
Word can be taught to the children of our church and our
- Iorangi Eiao
Page 18 | 19 - IMPRINT > Around the Churches
Around the Churches
On October 25th 2014, the women’s ministries team of Orange
Church organized a special Sabbath treat for the women in
Orange and surrounding areas of Bathurst, Blayney, Mandurama,
Molong and Narromine.
We were all privileged and blessed to have special guest
speakers Danielle Synot and Linda Ross share with us their
amazing experiences and very helpful talks and advice on
“Connection & Forgiveness”. Phillipa Fairall ran the fun introductory
icebreaker and all enjoyed special music and singing
and a very tasty lunch at the Senior citizens hall in Orange.
- Wendy Waterson
Meg Hawken was baptised by the Bega church pastor, Jimmy
Watanabe, near her home at Wallaga in mid December. With
family from as far away as Albury and Hornsby to witness
this beautiful event, Meg declared her allegiance to her Saviour,
Jesus. Her cousin sang a special song to commemorate
this public declaration. Church family from Bega and Wallaga
Lake came to share the special afternoon. God bless you Meg!
At camp with many of her Teen friends in attendance, Georgia
Hawken, went forward in baptism in Lake Jindabyne. Pastor
Jimmy Watanabe was pleased to officiate at this special time.
Family, once again, were part of the group gathered to witness
this very special event. We pray God will bless and guide each
step of the two sisters life.
Meg Hawken (centre)
- Wendy Hergenhan
Hawken Family at Georgias Baptism
Georgia Hawken (centre)
Around the Churches
Mesake is a much loved young person at Canberra National Church, and regularly
leads out in singing and attends so many Canberra National Youth events.
He had asked Rajko Celic who is the intern-pastor at National for studies at the
beginning of the year, and then he decided God was calling him to take the next
Mesake Kaisuva was baptised
on 20 December 2015 at Googong
Dam and joined National
Church. This was a last of a busy
baptisms Sabbath in Canberra!
The Googong dam service was well attended with many relatives & friends from
Canberra National, including some from South Canberra & Queanbeyan. Pr and
Mrs Neil Lawson were present, which will be a precious memory for many. It was
a beautiful and inspiring bush service, especially poignant when Mesake shared
his testimony about how he had postponed God’s call for too long, but now was
the time for decision and his baptism. Rajko Celic preached the sermon and read
the baptism vows, and then Mesake was baptised by James Toogood with Rajko
- James Toogood
Christmas service. Gabrielle was school captain of Macgregor Primary in Canberra
in 2014, and won the 2014 citizenship award for sports and academic endeavours.
Baden represented the ACT in the National Super ’10 at the 2015 Australia
Tennis Open in Melbourne
Baden asked Pr. Toogood for Bible studies at the beginning of 2014 after church
one day. Ten-year old Baden did this on his own initiative, which took some
courage. Gabrielle then joined the studies as soon as they started.
Gabrielle and her brother Baden
Aralleno were baptised on the
20th of December 2014 at South
Canberra Church. This was a
highlight of the annual
The children’s grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins came with their mother
Ilse Arallano to see their baptism. Ilse said “it was a very special day in my life
as my two children made the most important decision they will ever make.”
- James Toogood
Page 20 | 21 - IMPRINT > Around the Churches | Schools News
Wodonga Slavic SDA Church on February 28, 2015 celebrated the Baptism of
Maria Markovic at Porepunkah (VIC). The day began with a short Sabbath
School program that was filled with music and personal testimonies.
The Baptismal service conducted by Pastor Dragan Kanazir and witnessed by
church members, family and friends, some who had to travel 360 Kilometres to
attend. A beautiful location, where we were all uplifted and touched and where
two new candidates accepted the call to Baptism.
Following on from the Baptism, a combined fellowship lunch was shared and
everyone had a wonderful time together.
- Maryann Stojanov
Around the Churches
Reunion at Wallaga Lake
Sabbath 14th of February 2015 saw the 15th year of reunion of
Adventism at Wallaga Lake NSW. The event became a regional
meeting with members from Moruya, Bega and Cobargo
People shared their stories of their time at Wallaga, and with
guests from around the conference and as far as Japan over 130
people were in attendance.
Paul and Marion Campbell renewed their marriage vows in the
afternoon, which was also their wedding anniversary (26th) and
also Paul’s 50th birthday, along with his twin brother Gary.
All who came testified that it was a great day.
- Julie Nagle
Canberra Christian School
$80,000 Chaplaincy Grant
Canberra Christian School (CCS) applied for federal chaplaincy
funding in 2015 for the first time.
It was a competitive process as not all requesting schools received
grants. This triggered an audit process of ACT applications,
which required the school to agree to a Freedom of Information
request so all schools could view a transparent process.
After the audit completed the school was delighted to receive
notice of its application success for $80,000 across four years.
The conference appointed Pr Toogood to deliver chaplaincy
services. They have commenced with a YouTube school news
production, consistent presence of chaplain at school events, a
regular presentation of the Grace-Link Sabbath school interactive
lessons as a part of weekly school life, community service
planning and increasing the school presence in local church
Student at camera to produce
CCS TV News
life. You can see the School News regularly
by going to YouTube, search
“Canberra Christian School” and
subscribe to the channel. What you
will see is produced by students as
part of the chaplaincy program
Narromine Christian School
Due to a constant increase in enrollments Narromine Christian
School is in the process of completing their building project of two
additional classrooms with the expected completion date by the
end of term one.
The two new classrooms will serve as a literacy/numeracy support
room and a small music room.
This new building will allow us to grow to capacity with plenty of
room for everyone and will also give back to us our much needed
library space (which is currently being used as a classroom) which
we plan to use not only for library and computer activities for our
students but also for a school based community play and read
group for 0 to 4 year olds.
- Debbie Robertson
Narromine student leaders chosen
Five students have been chosen to serve and lead the Narromine
Christian School community as captains and prefects.
Katie Stonestreet was selected as captain, Amber Price vice-captain
and Tom Cross, Montana White and Joseph Unger were chosen
All were very excited to be voted into their positions but each had
a unique reason they enjoyed their new role, but one common
goal was assisting the community.
“We can look after the younger students,” Montana said.
“We can teach them how to respect their school,” Amber said.
“We can help everyone,” Katie said.
“It’s a very good responsibility,” Tom said.
“We get extra privileges, so we can help other students,” Joseph said.
Health Ministry Positions available Cedarvale
Health and Lifestyle Retreat, Kangaroo Valley, NSW
Narromine School leaders 2015
This Article was published in the local magazine “Narromine
News” used by permission
• Assistant Cook – Cedarvale is seeking a person who is passionate about cooking and has good interpersonal
skills. Can be either a part or full-time position. Training is available. Position commences mid-late May
2015. Applications close May 4. Contact: Ph. 02 4465 1362 or E: email@example.com
• Traineeships in Health Ministry. Two positions exist for a one year program, including Certificate 4 in
Massage. Be trained in a health retreat setting and mentored alongside a team of health professionals. A
great opportunity to become involved in health ministry. Positions commence July, 2015. Applications close
May 1, 2015.
Page 22 | 23 - IMPRINT > Schools News | Annoucements
Womens Retreat 2015
Adventist Alpine Village
Designed for evey woman, every age,
every background from everywhere
Applications are now open online and can be
made by visiting the following link:
Applications are also available in your local church
Please ensure that you book your place so you
dont miss out on this fantastic weekend.
Applications close April 30
IMPRINT Magazine is a publication of the Communication
Department of the SDA Church in the SNSW Conference
3 McKay Gardens Turner ACT PO Box 800 Canberra ACT 2601
Please send any articles for the magazine to Mike Faber.
Editor: Mike Faber (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Associate Editor: Luke Ferry (email@example.com)
Events and Dates
April 14-19 Jet Camp
May 1-3 Pathfinder Leadership Training
29-31 Womens Retreat Weekend
June 20 Adventurer Worship Day